It provides insurance against extreme movements that often occur like war, economic crisis, changing monetary policies and so on. Individual or institutional investor tend to invest more in gold in order to diversify their portfolio by not only holding the US dollar as a reserve but also gold as well to hedge against the falling price of US dollar, to hedge against inflation, to provide higher liquidity at the time of urgency and to provide insurance and economic security against unexpected events like the recent economic crisis. There are certain factor that influences the price f gold from time and again. Some of these factors are US dollar currency, central bank policies, inflation, US economy, demand and supply of gold and other macro economic variables. Many Asian countries like India, Russia, Sri Lanka, and China are presently making a great initiative towards buying out more gold to protect their wealth and to hedge against the falling price of US dollar. Gold is regarded as one of the highly traded commodity in the commodity market. Recent economic crisis that has started from the US has led to some fluctuation on the gold price.
This is because the weakening of the US dollar currency and strengthening of the gold price has led the international investor to focus more on investing on the gold rather than foreign currencies especially US dollar. So, there has been an increase in the commodity market for trading of gold and other commodity in international market. Likewise, the gold investor are also increasing in Nepal with some of the commodity market already started trading the gold and other commodities. Purpose/ Objective of the Study:
The purpose of the study is to make in depth analysis of the factors that influence the gold future. Since, the change in the price of the gold has major influence on other commodities and currencies so it is very important to understand the gold and its relationship with various other factors like US dollar, inflation, demand and supply, central bank policies and other macro economic variables. This study is mainly conducted to know how the gold price fluctuates irrespective of the change in the dollar value, inflation, demand and supply and central bank policies around the world. Methodology:
We base our study on the secondary source of information available in the market, articles, journal, and webpage and research paper. This study also comprises some of the opinion from the experts in the gold futures, which are included in the part of our analysis.. Scope of the Study: Some of the major scopes of the study are listed below: • This study is conducted to understand the common factors that influence the gold futures price in the world financial market. • We don’t recommend basing any investment decision in the results of this study, and this study is only for the academic purpose. The study is done only for academic purpose, which is based on the secondary information from different journals, articles, research papers and web pages. So, this doesn’t include detail research on the actual market. However, some of there will be some of the practical example illustrated on the relevant topic wherever necessary. • The study reflects the gold price relationship with the factors that are common in overall world economy not only to those factors that are specific to the particular economy. Limitation of the Study:
This project report is prepared under considerable limitations and some of those are listed below: • Time constraint: Due to limited time, we have not been able to explore the other component of our study like numerical calculation and trend analysis of the factors that influences the gold future. • Information source constraint: The limited information in this study does not serve as a basis for the investor for investing in the real market. We did not have enough access to more relevant and valuable articles. The investor need to have further detail analysis and research before investing in the gold future in real market. Scope constraint: We have limited the scope of our study by identifying and focusing in six factors that influences the gold price. There can be factors other those mentioned in this study that have effects on the gold price. From our preliminary web-based analysis we identified six factors that affect the gold price. Structure of the paper: The study of this paper begins with first identifying the major common factors that influence the gold price in international level. These factors are then further analyzed and elaborated with some theoretical concept, practical insight and evidences.
The factors identified are as common to the world economy, however there might be other factors than those identified, which might influence the gold price and might differ from country to country. Finally, we have drawn some conclusion based on our analysis and a brief highlight on the gold future market in Nepal. Chapter II CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK There has been a tremendous increase in the trading of gold in the international commodity market. People are more attracted towards investing more on the gold market primarily because of the following reasons: Gold as a hedge against inflation Gold is considered as the hedge against inflation.
Inflation is basically caused by the increase in the supply of currency. The value of the currency is decreased when there is monetary inflation. And we know that the price of gold increase when there is monetary inflation. So one can keep gold as reserve to safe from the inflation risk. The most consistent factor determining the price of gold is inflation-the price goes up with the rise in inflation rate. It has negative correlation with other investment portfolios like stocks bonds, bills. etc. E. g. at the end of world war II, when there was highest inflation rate, the rate of return on stocks was ighly in negative but the price of the gold was far positive. Oil, Inflation and Gold Though the price of the oil and the gold are far different, it is no doubt that the price of oil reflects to the price of gold. If oil prices rise or fall sharply, investors can expect a corresponding reaction in gold prices as well. When the oil price climbed from 325%, $2. 44 to $10. 36 in between 1972 and 1974, gold price had rose 268% from $47. 45 to $174. 76. Gold as a hedge against declining the dollar In the international market, the price of gold is determined in the value of dollar.
With the decline of the value of the dollar, the price of gold rises. The U. S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency, it is the primary medium for international transactions and the currency held as reserves by the world’s central banks. Now it has been backed by the gold, the dollar has been only the medium. Gold as a safe haven There are myriad of tensions in the world economy, anyone can erupt with little or no warning. Gold has been considered as the crisis commodity because it safeguards the other investments. Every factor that causes other investments to suffer may let the price of gold to rise.
When there is any crisis specially or there is banking crisis, public begins to distrust paper assets and turns to gold for a safe haven. When all else fails, governments rescue themselves with the printing press, making their currency worth less and gold worth more. Gold has always raised the most when confidence in government is at its lowest. Gold as a store of value Warren Buffet has said about Gold: “It gets dug out of the ground in Africa or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. One major reason investors look to gold as an asset class is because it will always maintain an intrinsic value. E. g. if one could purchase a set of the cloth with the value of 1 ounce of then fashion, he can also purchase the set of cloth but of modern design and fashion with the same 1 ounce of gold at this time. It means that Gold act as the storage of the wealth. Gold as a portfolio Diversifier Gold is negatively correlated with the dollar value and hence negatively correlated with all other financial market, such as stocks and bonds. So it is the most effective way of diversifying the portfolio by investing into the gold.
It is the safest way of investment; it protects the wealth from total loss because there will be the intrinsic value in any time in future. But there is a chance of complete eruption of total money due to crisis in other investments. Gold is an safe part of a diversified portfolio because its price increases in response to events that erode the value of traditional paper investments like stocks and bonds. Chapter III FACTORS INFLUENCING GOLD FUTURES Present days we see that there has been a great fluctuation in the price of gold, with increase in its price.
This has alerted all the gold investor either individual investor or institutional investor or country to think once again. So, as a rational investor we need to understand the basic idea behind the gold price upward and downward movement. To understand this movement in the gold price we need to understand all those common factors that influence the gold futures. So, some of these factors that influence the gold futures like US dollar currency, central bank policies, inflation, demand and supply and macro economic variables are illustrated below with some practical insight linked with the theoretical concept as well.
Factors that Influence the Gold Future: 1. US dollar and gold price 2. Central bank reserve policy and gold price 3. Demand and supply of gold and its effects in the price 4. Inflation and gold price 5. Investment demand and gold price 6. Geopolitical scenario, macroeconomic changes, and gold price 1. US dollar and gold price: When we talk about gold and US dollar, it is important to reassess how gold really relates to the dollar. The fact is that gold almost never changes in value. It is the dollar that revalues in relationship to gold. For example, in 1920 a good quality men’s suit could be purchased with a typical $20 gold piece.
A similar quality suit today can be purchased with about the same amount of gold. There exists a reciprocal relationship between the gold price and dollar. The reason that gold and the dollar generally trend in opposite directions is that in one respect gold is just another currency. As a result, when the dollar weakens on the foreign exchange market over an extended period then the US dollar gold price will generally rise during the same period; and when the dollar strengthens over many months then US dollar gold price will usually fall.
This is the real scenario which we have been observing currently in the world financial market, where the dollar is weakening and the price of gold is sky rocketing. It doesn’t mean that the percentage change in dollar has equal percentage change in gold price, but when we look over the charts of the dollar and gold and compare, it quickly becomes apparent that the two have been inversely correlated since the floating currency system came into being in the early 1970s. But to our surprise, if we see the data of gold and dollar from May through December 1993, the traditional relationships prove to have broken down.
Gold has long been regarded by investors as a good protection against depreciation in a currency’s value, both internally (i. e. against inflation) and externally (against other currencies). In the latter case, gold is widely considered to be a particularly effective hedge against fluctuations in the US dollar, the world’s main trading currency. The reason for the inverse relationship between gold and the US dollar is because both are seen as a global, worldwide currency. Pre 1971 the two colluded as a world gold standard whereby the US dollar and gold were pegged together. At that time one Troy ounce of gold could be swapped for US$35.
Before 1971 any central bank in the world could ask America to settle its debts in gold. But post 1971 they could only ask for US dollars. When the central bank demands more gold or began to hoard more gold as a reserve than the price of the US dollar falls and vice versa. These days the value of dollar is declining due to the central banks around the world are making an initiative to hold more gold as a reserve against the dollar, which has resulted an influence in the US dollar currency. The figure below indicates the gold price and US dollar movement from 1970s to 2000s, which shows that there is inverse relationship between the trends.
When US dollar is declining then ther is rise in gold price and vice versa. Although the percentage change is not same, but there still exists an inverse relationship between gold price and US dollar. [pic] Fig: Relationship between US dollar and Gold price 2. Central bank reserve policy and gold price: Since central banks typically buy US dollars to store their foreign exchange reserves but recent days there has been shift in the decision of the central bank around the world to hold more reserve of gold against the world’s sole eserve US dollar to hedge against the fall in US dollar value. So central banks around the world are investing more in gold to hedge against the falling price of US dollars from the foreign currency reserve they hold. This decision of the central banks around the world had led to increase in the price of the gold. Some of the recent example of such decision undertaken by the central bank around world can be Reserve Bank of India, Russian Central bank and many other central banks of Asian countries including China.
The decision to further increase the gold reserve by the central bank of Asian countries including China as a hedge against the bullish trend of gold has led to further increase in the price of gold. Asian central banks hold 2. 6 trillion US dollars in foreign exchange reserves. So, most of these reserves are expected to be invested on the buying gold as an alternative reserve to US dollar, which will definitely led the price of gold to rise with the fall in US dollar. Recent steps undertaken by some of the central bank that influenced the price of gold are: Federal Reserve: The present initiative undertaken by the Federal Reserve to keep the interest rate low and increase the money supply whenever it feels necessary to improve liquidity has resulted the pressure on the dollar price and benefited the gold price against the dollar. So, such decision and actions undertaken by the Federal Reserve influence dollar value with the resulting impact on the gold price. • Indian central bank: After India’s central bank—the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)—bought 200 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last month has made some positive fluctuation on the price of gold.
At the same time more central banks are taking various initiatives to step up their gold reserves. • Russian central bank: Central bank of Russia decision to buy out 30 tons of gold from its own gold mining has also led to influence the price of the gold. • China’s central bank: Central bank of china had built up its gold reserves by 454 tons since 2003 to 1,054 tones, making it the world’s sixth largest holder of the precious metal. Russian central bank has also given an initiative on buying more gold in the near future as diversifying reserves because of the fall in the dollar price.
This also shows that Russia’s gold reserve probably rose by $790 million to $23. 1 billion, which has a great influence on the gold price. • Sri Lankan’s central bank: Central bank of Sri Lanka has bought 10 tons of gold worth $375 million as part of a restructuring of IMF financial resources • Mauritius Central Bank: Mauritius bought 2 tons on for $71. 7 million from IMF also has led to increase on the price of gold. The IMF executive board approved the sale of 403. 3 tons of gold in September. IMF currently holds roughly 3,000 tons of gold, is the world’s third-largest official holder of the precious metal after the US and Germany.
This decision of IMF to sale the gold to different central banks has led to influence the gold price. Why do central banks hold more gold? – Its influence on the gold price As we have seen from the recent examples that most of the central bank are moving their decision towards holding more gold reserve as an alternative to world’s sole reserve currency US dollar. The reason for central bank for holding more gold can be one of the following reasons: • Diversification: As we have popular saying that don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
So, recent days the central bank wants to minimize their risk by diversifying their reserve into gold holding. As the dollar and gold price represents the world’s reserve. So, holding the reserve in gold will minimize the risk of falling price of US dollar i. e. in simple sense to hedge against the falling price of gold. Thus, central bank makes take an initiative to hold gold as a diversification to minimize risks. • Economic Security: Gold is a unique asset in that it is no one else’s liability. Its status cannot therefore be undermined by inflation in a reserve currency country.
Nor is there any risk of the liability being repudiated. Gold has maintained its value in terms of real purchasing power in the long run and is thus particularly suited to form part of central banks’ reserves. In contrast, paper currencies always lose value in the long run and often in the short term as well. Because of this the central bank holds gold. • Hedge/ Insurance against uncertain events: This can be best illustrated with the present economic crisis that led to affect the international monetary system. Owning gold is thus an option against an unknown future.
It provides a form of insurance against some improbable but, if it occurs, highly damaging event. Such events might include war, an unexpected surge in inflation, a generalized crisis leading to repudiation of foreign debts by major sovereign borrowers, a regression to a world of currency. In emergencies countries may need liquid resources. So, gold is liquid and is universally acceptable as a means of payment and can also serve as collateral for borrowing. Because of this the central bank holds gold. Some of the largest gold reserves holding countries of the world as of December, 2009 are listed in the table below: Rank |Country/ Organization |Gold (tonnes) | |1 |US |8,133. 5 | |2 |Germany |3,407. 6 | |3 |IMF |3,005. 3 | |4 |Italy |2,451. 8 | |5 |France |2,435. 4 | |6 |China |1,054. 0 | |7 |Switzerland |1,040. | |8 |Japan |765. 2 | |9 |Netherland |612. 5 | |10 |Russia |607. 7 | So, when then central banks of these major gold reserve holding countries make a decision to buy or sell the gold reserve, then there arises a change and fluctuation on the price of the gold and the US dollar. 3. Demand and supply of gold and its effects in the price The price of gold has also been influenced by the demand and supply of gold in the international market.
This demand and supply of gold and its influence on the gold price are discussed below: Demand of Gold The demand of the gold is extensively high in today’s market. It may be due to the less supply and its vast uses in many sectors. The demand of the gold is diverted mostly in the industries, jewelry fabrication and to some extent to the lines of credit. The extensive functionality and the physical/chemical properties of the gold are the main reason behind its increase in demand. Some of the major sectors where there is large demand of gold are: a. Jewelry demand The demand of gold in jewelry accounts about 2/3 of its demand in world.
Jewelry has been the world’s largest category of the consumer goods. The demand in jewelry is driven by a combination of the affordability and desirability of consumers. It rises during the period of price stability and declines when there is price volatility. The jewelry consumption has been increasing, though there is a steadily trend of rising price. The demand of gold for jewelry is high especially in Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and others. b. Investment Demand There is no doubt that the investment in gold has been increased considerably in recent years.
The trading of gold in international commodity market has been increasing drastically in recent days. It is not easily measurable of the gold demand in over the counter market. However, the increase in investment has represented the strongest growth in demand. There are wide ranges of reasons why the people seek to invest in gold. The major reasons are the positive price outlook and expectations that the demand will continue to outstrip its supply. The investment in gold can take many forms, some investor trade it in contract without physical delivery. c. Industrial demand
Gold’s extensive property like resistance to corrosion, high thermal and electrical conductivity, high malleability and ductility explained why its demand has been increasing in the electronic components and human surgery. Gold is used in the medical applications due to its compatibility, resistance to bacterial colonization and corrosion. Several researches have uncovered a number of new practical uses of gold such as catalyst in fuel cells, in chemical processing and controlling pollution. The uses of gold in electronics, metal plating and coatings, cancer and heart treatment are the exciting areas of its uses. . Other forms of gold demand The central bank keeps the reserve either in dollar or gold. There is a great chance of lowering the value of dollar rate thus creating the great risk. So in order to minimize that risk the central bank has started to deposit the gold as their reserve. Similarly, the Chinese government has started to put their trade surplus in the form of gold. The chinese government has also allowed their citizens to own and keep gold with them. These scenarios has also created the scenario to increase the demand of gold. Gold is taken as the “crisis hedge”.
There is a great threat from the country’s turmoil and the inflation risk, which is out of the control of anyone. So people are scared about the assets in the paper form. They started to keep gold as the reliable asset. This trend has also created the demand of gold in consumer level. Supply of the Gold a. Mine production The main source of the gold production is mining. Gold is produced almost in all continents. The global mine production is relatively stable because mining in new places just serve as the replacement of the current production.
There is no significant growth in the total production. The average global production is approximately 2485 tonnes per year over the last five years. The lead time of the gold mining is relatively longer (i. e. longer than 10 years), so production is inelastic and the changes in price don’t have the quick response. b. Recycled gold There is the supply of the gold through the recycled gold compensating to the less production. This has helped to stabilize the supply and price. In between 2004 and 2008, the recycled gold has contributed an average 28% to annual supply.
The gold has great recycling property; it can be molded and remolded by melting down and reuse without losing much of its physical and chemical properties. c. Central banks The supranational organizations such as International Monetary Fund (IMF) and central banks hold the stocks of gold as reserve assets. The government also holds around 10% of its official reserves as gold but the proportion varies in different countries. This source has been a net seller since 1989 contributing an average of 447 tonnes to annual supply. However the sales rom these sources are decreasing in recent years. In 2008, it was just around 246 tonnes. d. Gold Production Gold is extracted from its ore. The extracted ore is treated, processed and refined. The largest ore is the Rand refinery in Germiston, South Africa in terms of largest capacity. The largest ore in terms of output is the Johnson Mathew, USA. The gold refined is sold to the bullion dealers who trade it to the jewelry or industry or the investors.
The bullion dealers facilitate the free flow of gold and underpin the free market mechanism. Supply/ demand in western gold market Annual western world gold supply (a) + (c) |Annual western world gold demand (a) + (c) |Annual western world gold | | | |deficits | Y e a r |Annual mine production (b) (metric tons) |Annual production growth rate (%) |Annual consumer demand (b) (metric tons) |Annual consumer demand growth rate (%) |Demand (metric tons) |Supply (metric tons) |Prod. Deficit (a) (metric tons) | |1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 |1382 1446 1698 1686 1814 1948 2145 2020 947 2089 2069 1992 |13. 8 4. 6 17. 4 (0. 7) 7. 6 7. 4 10. 1 (5. 8) (3. 6) 7. 3 (1. 0) (3. 7) |1529 1571 1786 1688 1942 2340 2478 2590 2891 2763 2700 3007 |1. 9 2. 7 13. 7 (5. 5) 15. 0 20. 5 5. 9 4. 5 11. 6 (4. 4) (2. 3) 11. 4 |1529 1571 1786 1688 1942 2340 2478 2590 2891 2763 2700 3007 |1382 1446 1698 1696 1814 1948 2145 2020 1947 2089 2069 1992 |-147 -125 -88 -2 -128- -392 -333 -570 -944 -674 -631 -1015 | | The demand of the gold is growing while the supply through mine production is flat -more or less constant production. The 10 year supply/demand data show that the gold demand exceeded to the supply in all years.
In 1995 the demand exceeds the supply by 1. 5 times and the deficit is 1015 tonnes. The deficient of the gold can be observed in the US and India where the shops are completely bare of gold, Indian Banks was empty of gold and silver. US Mint has suspended coin production. 4. Inflation and the gold price: As we have already discussed that there exists the inverse relationship between the gold price and US dollar currency. So, when the inflation of the US economy goes up then the dollar becomes weaker as a general economic sense, which will ultimately led to increase in the price of the gold.
This is because the central bank around the word will buy out more gold as a reserve in order to hedge against the falling value of US dollar. Thus, the inflation in the US economy has a chain reaction which will ultimately led to increase in the gold price with weakening US dollar. Some of the empirical data from the past shows how gold price responded to the inflation in the US economy. From the peak in1980 the inflation rate declined but cumulative inflation climbed steadily upward. But rather than keeping up with inflation the price of Gold fell from the peak of $850 per ounce down o under $300 in 2001. But in inflation adjusted dollars the scene is even worse. The 1980 peak in 2007 inflation adjusted dollars was over $2100 and it fell to under $346 losing a whopping 84% of its value. So even though inflation rose gold fell because the fear level was low (and possibly because governments worldwide manipulated the price). While gold prices do tell us some-thing about the inflation rate, it need not be either that inflation raises gold prices or that higher gold prices cause inflation. Some third factor, such as the money supply, may influence both.
The monetary policy of central bank s to adjust their inflation rate in the economy has certain influence on the gold price. As for instance in the US economy, a monetary policy designed to bring down inflation, as in the early 1980s, might have a different impact than one promoting a stable, low-inflation environment, like that of the 1990s. Thus, we can observe that the price of gold movement and Inflation has positive relationship. It means that when the inflation increases then the price of the gold also moves upward. 5.
Investment demand and gold price: Investment demand of gold is a relatively new concept which is gaining popularity among investors in later years. We have seen that traditionally demand of gold basically came from- central bank holdings and jewelry demand. But due to growing geopolitical tension, power shift, and many other reasons, investors are investing in gold as a hedge against macro economic downturn, more specifically against the inflation. People take gold as a safe heaven investment and belief in its long term store value.
This changing perception of people is supported by the availability of various types of instruments through which they can invest in gold. The kinds of investment alternatives for gold are: a. Gold futures b. Shares of gold exchange traded funds c. Shares of gold mining companies As the purpose of this study is to discuss about the factors affecting the gold prices, we will not be discussing all these alternatives further. To put things in perspective, it is necessary to state that the total amount of gold derivative traded every day around the world is more than 1000 tonnes of gold.
Whereas, the total value of physical gold traded every year is around 10000 tonnes. This implies that the physical gold market is less than 2% of gold derivative market (Understanding Gold; Paul Van Eden; theMiningweb. com; 2000). Gold futures contract and the gold exchange traded funds are the most popular forms of gold derivatives. In 2009 alone the investment demand for gold went up by massive 25% (Ajay Mitra; World Gold Council; Dec 2009). This sort of additional demand is putting more pressure on the price of the gold and is one of the major reasons behind the recent rise in the price of gold in 2009.
Recent rise in gold price can be attributed Reasons behind rise in investment demand of gold: The reasons are very simple. First the returns on gold have left far behind the returns on other investment alternative, such as stocks and bonds. In 2009, average returns on gold investment stood between 25-35%. A close analysis of average returns from gold and S&P since 1999 will show that, had anyone invested $10,000 in gold in 1999 that would have grown to $33,754 (i. e. a profit of 238%). And had that investment was made in S&P then it would have incurred a loss of $3,987 (i. e. a loss of 40%).
These data show that gold investments are beating stock market in terms of returns and this is switching investors from stock market to the gold investment market. Following bar diagram summarizes the average returns on gold and S&P 500 from 1999 to 2008. Comparison of returns of gold and S&P 500 between 1999 & 2008 [pic] It is clear from the above table that gold (G) have beaten S&P 500 (S) in seven out of ten years. In 1999 the returns were equal and S&P 500 produced higher returns only in 2000 and 2001. MEX (Mercantile Exchange Nepal) gold futures, a real life example of investment demand:
Since MEX started its operation about a year ago, a significant number of Nepalese investors have traded on gold futures contracts: bought and sold. As of today MEX does not allow settlement of contract by physical exchange of gold so all the trading is settled through taking the opposite position. Here we see, nobody has purchased or sold actual gold but they have through their long positions they have added to the total demand of gold. Similar activities are observed in most of the emerging nations- India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and others.
The impact of such activities is that they have all provided fuel to the massive price surge in gold in 2009 when the price rose by almost 25%. 6. Geopolitical tension, macroeconomic changes, and gold price: Geopolitics is the interactive study of geography, economy, politics, and demography all of them converging in the development of foreign policy of a given country. Gold price is very sensitive to news on geopolitical tensions. The basic reason behind the sensitivity of gold price with geopolitical events is that geopolitical tensions bring an environment of economic uncertainty and sometimes demand state intervention in the economy.
And whenever there exists an environment of economic uncertainty investors run for the more safe investment- gold. Dubai crisis is a recent example of geopolitical influence on gold price. On November 26 last year Dubai property developers- Nakheel and Emmar properties, announced that they need an extended time to repay their debt. That week alone, the gold price dropped from the all time high of $1223 to $1120. More than $100 drop in a couple of days. Then, investors feared that the ripple of Dubai crisis will spread all over the world economy again starting with the failure of the banks which had invested in these property developers.
Another example is the US invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan has greatly affected the world economy; especially the price of crude oil shut up from $30/barrel to mighty $150/barrel and with this went up the gold price from $700 to $900. World macroeconomic changes also affect the gold price. When US adopted a relaxed monetary policy and brought down its interest rate as low as 0. 25%, this increased the liquidity in the market. And because of recessionary environments most of these cash couldn’t be invested in productive sector.
As a result people massively invested in commodities including gold causing the price to go up. Another example, China had always been discouraging its people from holding assets like gold and investing in gold futures. But in the year 2009, Chinese government vocally encouraged its people to invest in gold and gold ornaments. In addition, they encouraged the trading of gold futures in the country. As an effect of this, both the physical and investment long position on gold futures increased that supported the high price of gold. Recently, Russian government sold 30 tonnes of its gold reserve to its central bank.
This reflects the tendency of the governments to retain and even add to their gold reserves. This argument is again supported by the recent purchase of 400 tonnes of gold by the government of India from IMF (International Monetary Fund) at a price of $1045/ ounce. And once this trade was made public, within days, the price of gold surged from $1050 to $1120. From all above mentioned examples and arguments we can conclude that geopolitics and macroeconomic environment both have direct impact on the gold price. Gold vs. Oil as an investment alternative:
Over the last 50 years or so, gold and oil have generally moved together in terms of price, with a positive price correlation of over 80 percent. During this time, the price of oil in gold ounces has averaged about 15 barrels per ounce. Technical analysis show that at US$56 per barrel oil, the gold price should be in excess of US$840 per ounce and that is already there. Some experts are suggesting that, in two or three years, US$100 per barrel oil is very possible. At that price gold should be US$1500 per ounce. Let us evaluate the returns from both oil and gold in the year 2009.
Calculation of returns for oil in 2009 Oil price in January 2009 = $35/ barrel Oil price in December 2009 = $75/ barrel HPR = (75-35)/35 = 114. 30% Calculation of returns gold oil in 2009 Gold price in January 2009 = $ 750/ ounce Gold price in December 2009 = $1200/ ounce HPR = (1200-750)/750 = 60% The above analysis, though very simple and considering other things constant, show that returns in oil has exceeded the returns from gold. Other than this, generally accepted fact is that rise in oil price is viewed by the speculators as the indication of possible rise in inflation in future.
And when inflation is in the brink then speculators again turn to more safe investment i. e. gold and that pushes up the gold price. The two major factors leading to rise in oil price are: • Increase in industrial and retail demand due to accelerated economic activities across the globe. • Abrupt changes in supply of oil due to undesirable geopolitics. From this analysis we can conclude that we cannot exactly say which is a better investment alternative. What we can derive is that these two move together and maintain a ration of 15:1 most of the time.
CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION From the study of this report what we can conclude is that as a rational investor we need to understand the basic factors that influence s the gold futures. We have seen that US dollar has a major influence on the gold price. When the price of the dollar devaluates then the price of the gold appreciates. This shows the reciprocal relationship between the dollar and gold because gold on the other hand represents another currency and alternative to reserve hold by many central banks around the world.
It is also seen that when there is problem with the value US dollar, then the central banks mostly move their decision to buy the gold as a foreign reserve to hedge against the risk of holding the world’s sole currency reserve. This has led to influence the price of the gold. The central banks not only hold gold as a hedge against the fall in the price of the gold but also as a diversification and to provide economic security against unexpected events like war, economic crisis and so on.
This steps undertaken by the central bank has a great influence on the price of the gold and gold market. We have also seen from the analysis how the demand and supply of gold and inflation influence the gold price. Recently we have seen that the demand of gold by central banks around the world has been increasing in order to hedge against the falling price of US dollar. So, central bank are buying out more gold as an alternative reserve to US dollar. This type of monetary policies of the central bank has led to increase in the price of gold.
Likewise, the inflation in the US economy also has a direct relationship with the price of gold movement. It means that when the inflation in the economy increases then the price of gold also increases. This is because the increasing inflation led to weaken the US dollar currency and ultimately has a chain reaction on the gold price as discussed in the report already. From this we can conclude that due to increasing investment demand gold price is rising gradually in last 10 years. Speculators use oil price as a leading indicator of possible future inflation. Also, the historic positive correlation between oil and gold price, which stands at 80%, show that with rise in oil price, gold price is also expected to rise.
References Online Journals: JSTOR Alvin h. Hansen, University Of Minnesota, “The Situation Of Gold Today In Relation To World Currencies”. Accessed On December 28th, 2009. William F. Butler and John V. Deaver, “ Gold And The Dollar”. Accessed on December 28th , 2009. James C. Dolley, “Inflation, the Balance of Payments, and the Gold Flow”. Accessed on 31st December, 2009. Reading materials: Paul van Eeden, “Understanding Gold”. Accessed WebPages: http://www. usagold. com/gildedopinion/vaneedengold. html) (accessed on 3rd January, 2010) http://www. blanchardonline. com/beru/gold_vs_stock. php(accessed on 3rd January, 2010) http://precious-metals investing. suite101. com/article. cfm/gold_price_forecasts_why_so_high_part_3(accessed on 4th January, 2010) http://www. gold-eagle. com/editorials_05/barisheff042205. html(accessed on 4th January, 2010) http://goldnews. bullionvault. com/gold_oil_ratio_121520093(accessed on 5th